Interview with Craig Daniell, CEO of SPCA - 2014 Dream Employer Winner

The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to protecting and enhancing the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in British Columbia.
In 2014 the BC SPCA provided a wide range of services, including in-shelter care and free or subsidized outreach services to care for and assist 45,244 animals in distress and need through the society’s 42 locations (36 local branches across B.C., Wild ARC wildlife rehabilitation centre in Metchosin, the Vancouver Animal Hospital, spay/neuter clinics in Prince George and Kamloops, a Provincial Call Centre for animal cruelty complaints and its Provincial Office in Vancouver).
The Society has 490 staff members (full-time, part-time and auxiliary) and nearly 4,000 volunteers throughout the province. Our staff includes 27 full-time and two part-time Special Provincial Constables, who are trained and authorized to investigate complaints of animal cruelty and neglect. Three additional constables work in branches full-time and assist with investigations in their communities.
1. How does it feel to be a Dream Employer?
We were initially very surprised first of all, as we weren’t aware of this award, but we are extremely honoured by this recognition. It is encouraging to be recognized by the pubic as a place where people want to work and a place which allows people to have rewarding and fulfilling careers.
It is also very humbling to be recognized and be among the ranks of the other Dream Employers and is very heartening to know that the public sees the people behind the animals.
2. What are your organization’s top 2 employee engagement programs?
The BC SPCA runs a yearly employee engagement survey in partnership with the University of British Columbia in order to ensure a proactive approach around engagement and retention. This engagement survey is completed by all of the BC SPCA Staff and is analyzed and reviewed by the senior management team. The management team will further look into the results and look to implement new ideas and initiatives.
We are proud to say that through the engagement surveys we have established some core initiatives within the BC SPCA some of which includes:
  • Identification of training for both our staff and volunteers through an online learning management system and investment in face-to-face training time.
  • Employee and volunteer recognition – new policies around recognizing employees/volunteers through an informal procedure and a more formal process which awards our staff on an annual basis.
  • Addressing the wage issues for entry level staff and having senior management invest in a career development process for our employees.  
3. Are there any innovative recruitment platforms you’re using to engage in/or planning to implement in 2015?
Because of the number of volunteers and employees we have throughout the province we have spent the past years investing in technologies which will help us in our recruitment platform as well looking to have it seamlessly integrate within our accounting/payroll processes. We will be looking to expand and grow in the next couple of years through opportunities as a social enterprise and expand in humane education.  
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